observant-baseWND, By Bruce Phillips, March 2, 2015:

In his three most recent columns, Bruce Phillips, who has nearly 40 years of experience in Middle East affairs, examined whether or not the Palestinian party Fatah is really as moderate is it is often portrayed by media an government. Part 1 provided an analysis of Fatah’s own trademark logos and posters while Part 2 looked at recent statements and actions of Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas and current Fatah leadership. In his third column, he spotlighted “The word that motivates global Islamic jihad.”

[Note from the author: As with all of my articles, none of the terms or phrases used here are of my own invention; every term or phrase is derived from primary Islamic sources, such as the Quran, Hadith, Tafsir and Shariah. I encourage everyone to access the hyperlinked references, then evaluate each for accuracy and completeness.]

This is the latest in an ongoing series of articles dealing with complex, sometimes abstract, subjects, which are often counterintuitive to those of us in the non-Islamic West. By counterintuitive, I mean there are times when it is almost impossible for us to believe that the authorized Islamic sources mean exactly what they say. Nonetheless, if we hope to preserve any chance of victory against the escalating threat we face, we must endeavor to master this sometimes unpleasant subject; we must, as Abraham Lincoln said, “disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall help save our country, the last best hope on earth.”

The purpose of this article is to introduce the concept of “expanding the observant Muslim base” (al-Qaida al-Islamia al-Moltzema), which is a tactical term found in a 1991 Muslim Brotherhood document known as the Explanatory Memorandum. In Arabic, the document is a concise, densely written manifesto – not a word is arbitrary or incidental. Saturated with iconic language, it distills 1,400 years of strategy and tactics used since the time of Muhammad to advance the “global Islamic state.” (Also see “The Quranic Concept of War“).

Since 9-11, we’ve heard the term al-Qaida (“the base,” or القاعدة in Arabic) almost every day. However, al-Qaida is not just the name of a hydra-like global terrorist organization. It is also an abstract concept, with a deep ocean of Islamic history behind it.

For example, after Muhammad established his final Qaida in Medina in A.D. 622, it became the power base of Islam for the next hundred years, initially under Muhammad’s leadership and then under four “rightly guided caliphs.”

Also, as we see reflected on TV regularly, the black flag of jihad displayed so prominently by ISIS features the “seal of Muhammad,” which goes back to the founding of Islam in A.D. 610.

The Muslim Brotherhood has maintained a highly visible leading role in the global effort to “expand the observant Muslim base” since it was founded in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna in close collaboration with Sayyid Qutb.

After these two “founding fathers” summarized and published the goals and operational tactics of Islam, they began attracting thousands of dedicated followers from countries all over the world. To this day, the Muslim Brotherhood remains the largest and most well-organized Islamic organization on earth. Not only that, but it continues providing a solid, reliable theological and political base to fellow members in nearly every country in the world.

Meanwhile, as a relatively small but financially influential Islamic community began to coalesce in North America, a group (see Figure 1 above) of respected Muslim Brotherhood leaders summarized the same strategic goals and tactics discussed by al-Banna and Qutb in a format tailored to fit the theological and socio-political challenges faced by Muslims living in a wealthy, predominantly non-Islamic region. These members of the Shura Council and the Organizational Conference called this carefully crafted strategic and tactical communiqué the “”An Explanatory Memorandum On The General Strategic Goal For The Group In North America.”

It is important to recognize that the Muslim Brotherhood summarized the goals and tactics for “expanding the observant Muslim base” more than 10 years before Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri helped form a global coalition of 12 Islamist groups called the World Islamic Front (aka the global jihad front or al-Qaida), then declared jihad on America and Israel on Feb. 23, 1998.

In fact, Zawahiri, who is the current leader of al-Qaida, was not only a member of the Brotherhood in his native Egypt but also bases his operational templates on the views of prominent Islamic theorists like al-Banna and Qutb.

Despite the fact that the Explanatory Memorandum was introduced as prima facie evidence in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation trial, many today still do not realize that the ideology of a wide spectrum of Islamic macro-groups, such as Al-Shabaab, Hamas, ISIS and the World Islamic Front are all based on exactly the same aggressive goals and concepts that were summarized and endorsed in 1987 by the Muslim Brotherhood in North America.

In simple terms, every Islamic group mentioned above is engaged in their own regional version of “expanding the observant Muslim base.”

Finally, as I discussed earlier in “The word that motivates global Islamic jihad,” much of the catalyst for this expansion comes from “push back” (aka “Islamophobia”) encountered by the Muslim community in North America. The Explanatory Memorandum is very concise and comprehensive, and includes tactical principals – “operative verbs” –designed to overcome and neutralize this “push-back,” which is also described as a “civilizational alternative” or “civilizational jihad.”

Here is how the Explanatory Memorandum addresses the problem of “push-back” from the resistant, non-Muslims they encounter: “The process of settlement is a Civilization-Jihadist Process with all the word means. The Ikhwan (‘brothers’ in Arabic) must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it (fitnah) is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

As discussed in my column on fitnah, or “resistance,” the concept is derived directly from Quran 2.193 and 8.39.

How the Explanatory Memorandum was discovered

In August 2004, a Maryland Transportation Authority police officer conducted a traffic stop after observing someone videoing the support structures of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. As it turns out, the driver was Ismail Selim Elbarasse, who was already wanted in connection with fundraising for Hamas. The FBI subsequently executed a search warrant on Elbarasse’s residence, where agents found 80 boxes of archived documents hidden in a sub-basement.

The search led to a remarkable discovery. Among the thousands of documents found, one of the most revealing was “An Explanatory Memorandum On The General Strategic Goal For The Group In North America.”

Originally commissioned in 1987 by the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood in North America, it was not officially released to the board of directors until 1991. It may just be a coincidence, but it is plausible that the same Muslim Brotherhood members who commissioned the memorandum also authorized the 1988 Hamas Charter. In any event, Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, pursues the exact same goals and objectives found in the document and even uses the same slogan as the Muslim Brotherhood: “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Quran is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”

Approved by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Shura Council, or organizational conference, for internal use only, the document was never mean to become public. For this reason, it is both an Enigma Code and the Rosetta Stone of the global Islamic movement

Like the Enigma Code, it was meant to remain hidden but now provides the key to deciphering the strategy and tactics of the movement. And, like the Rosetta Stone, it enables those of us in the non-Islamic world to discern the commonly held strategic and tactical doctrines of every Muslim organization in the world.

The Explanatory Memorandum was written by a former U.S. resident and still-active senior Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas leader, Mohamed Akram (aka Mohamed Akram Adlouni, aka Muhammad Akram Al-Adlouni). To this day, Muslim apologists insist Akram is an obscure, “self-described” fringe member of the Brotherhood and that the document is the “product of either of the Muslim lunatic fringe or of the Islamophobic lunatic fringe.”

However, Akram is currently the president of an organization listed by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, Al-Quds International, which not only remains a co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial but is a well-known fundraiser for Hamas in Asia and Europe. Akram was also listed in a 1992 “phonebook” included as evidence in the discovery phase of the Holy Land Foundation trial, where he is listed as a member of both the board of directors and the executive office (See page 3 and 15, respectively).

Regarding the “lunatic fringe” argument, the Explanatory Memorandum will never become obsolete or outdated, because it is based entirely on the Quran and Hadith. The strategy and tactics described in the document are exactly the same today as they were 30 years ago when it was written and exactly the same as they were 1,400 years ago, when Islam was founded.

Relevant current events

On Jan. 28, we learned that high-level officials at the U.S. State Department had hosted meetings with several “former” members of the Freedom & Justice Party, the well-known political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Samuel Taros of the Hudson Institute observed that the visit served two goals: “First, to organize the pro MB movement in the US” and, second, to “reach out to administration and the policy community in DC.”

He added that the delegation’s composition was designed to portray “an image of a united Islamist and non-Islamist revolutionary camp against the [Abdul Fattah al-Sisi] regime.”

Just two days later, it was revealed that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt posted a message on its official website stating that it “is incumbent upon everyone to be aware that we are in the process of a new phase … where we recall the meanings of jihad and prepare ourselves … to a long, uncompromising jihad, and during this stage we ask for martyrdom.”

The official announcement also referred to Muslim Brotherhood founder al-Banna, stating “Imam Al-Banna prepared the Jihad brigades that he sent to Palestine to kill the Zionist usurpers, and the second [Supreme] Guide Hassan Al-Hudaybi reconstructed the ‘secret apparatus’ to bleed the British occupiers.”

In retrospect, these sharply contradictory statements – saying one thing in English and something entirely different in Arabic – are common and are very similar in nature to the Jan. 11 appearance of Mahmoud Abbas at the Charlie Hebdo solidarity march while on the same day his Fatah organization posted violent pictures and statements on its official website.

Despite claims by the State Department that the meetings were “routine,” on Jan. 31, 2014, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shokry said that the reasons for the meetings were “not understandable, as they are not a political party, and according to the Egyptian law they should be treated as a terrorist group.”

Along with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates also have declared the Muslim Brotherhood to be a terrorist group.

Incidentally, the word “prepare” (Wa-Aiddu), which is mentioned several times in the above quotes, is taken directly from Quran 8.60 and is prominently displayed in the Muslim Brotherhood logo.

The verse reads: “Prepare for them whatever force and tethered horses you can, to terrify thereby the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others besides them that you know not.”

In other words, preparing forces to terrify your enemies is the iconic theme of a supposedly moderate Muslim organization, which currently enjoys unprecedented direct access to the highest levels of the U.S. government.

To finish up this section, there is a revealing point of contact, a nexus, between the Freedom & Justice Party representatives who met at the State Department, the Muslim Brotherhood members who posted the call to jihad on their website and the ideology found in the Explanatory Memorandum.

The point of contact is al-Banna, an open advocate of offensive jihad who was honored in the Explanatory Memorandum in the following concluding passage: “This paragraph was delayed … to stress its utmost importance as it constitutes the heart and core of this memorandum. … It suffices to say that the first pioneer of this phenomenon [i.e., doing Jihad] was our prophet Muhammad … as he placed the foundation for the first civilized organization, which is the mosque. … And this was done by the pioneer of the contemporary Islamic Dawah (“promotion of Islam”), Imam martyr Hasan al-Banna … when he and his brothers felt the need to re-establish Islam and its movement anew, leading him to establish organizations with all their kinds.”


At this point, it would be fair to ask whether or not the Muslim Brotherhood’s efforts to “expand the observant Muslim base” in North America have been successful. The objective answer would be an unqualified yes.

Despite the constant focus on “Islamophobia” by Muslim Brotherhood front groups such as the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR, there has actually been a wave of conversions to Islam, while the population of Muslims in America has nearly doubled since 9/11. In addition, the number of mosques has also nearly doubled since 9/11.

More importantly, the less visible strategic goals of creating a “central political party, [influencing] local political offices and political symbols, [building] relationships and alliances, and establishing an American Organization for Islamic Political Action ” have probably succeeded far beyond what Muhammad Akram Al-Adlouni and the other members of the Shura Council in North America ever expected.

Saudi Journalist: Muslim Brotherhood Ideology Created AQ’s Bin Laden, ISIS’s Baghdadi

AP Photo/Hassan Ammar

AP Photo/Hassan Ammar

Breitbart, by Jordan Schachtel, Feb. 16, 2015:

Saudi journalist Mshari Al-Zaydi, who has spent his career covering Islamic fundamentalist movements, penned an op-ed in Asharq Al-Awsat where he wrote “the Muslim Brotherhood will never change” when it comes to promoting radical Islam.

Al-Zaydi writes, “There is currently a global trend towards reconsidering the definition of the Brotherhood out of the sense that its very existence, ideology and activities represent a major source of harmful political activities and extremism.”

He mentions the ongoing investigations into the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) that are being conducted by the French and British governments, which seek to determine the threat posed by the group. Al-Zaydi explains that Egypt and the UAE are ahead of the curve when they “regard the Brotherhood as an illegal and illegitimate group.”

The author continues, explaining that the ideologies of MB founder Hassan Al-Banna and its predominant theorist, Sayyid Qutb, started a movement that would result in the creation of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

He writes: “Without people like Sayyid Qutb and Hassan Al-Banna, and books likeMilestones, and The Messages of Da’wa, or concepts like Al-Hakimiyyah (divine rule) and Ustaziatul Alam (mastership of the world,) there would have been no Islamist terrorism today. There would be no terrorist chiefs like Osama Bin Laden, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi or Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. There would be no Khalid Islambouli, who assassinated President Sadat. There would be no jihadist ideologues like Abdullah Azzam, Abdul Majeed Al-Zindani.”

Al-Zaydi explains that his aforementioned who’s who of terrorists all “initially drew their ideology from the Brotherhood source.”

“The Brotherhood served as a social and educational incubator for even more dangerous views and ideologies. Even the Brotherhood’s own views represent a destructive and misleading web of deception, the group forces its own worldview on its followers, ensuring that they view everything from just one narrow perspective,” concluded Al-Zaydi.

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna shortly after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The terror outfit has never amended its goal of seeking worldwide domination in the form of a Sunni Islamic Caliphate. al-Banna said of the MB’s goals, “It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.” The slogan of the Muslim Brotherhood reads, “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Koran is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”

Muslim Brothers Can’t Bring Themselves to Criticize Islamic State

CSP, by Kyle Shideler, Feb. 5, 2015:

Its a convenient notion that the barbaric decision to burn Jordanian pilot LT. Moaz al-Kasasbeh alive is a step too far even for the Sharia enforcers of the Islamic State, and that as a result we can expect a wave of rejection across the Arab world which might arise to shake off the Islamic State like a dog shaking off fleas.

Islamic LawUnfortunately, contrary to the belief of President Obama, the ideology of Islamic State isn’t bankrupt, but is based on the Islamic law. The execution itself was based on two concepts. The first, that because al-Kasabeh had conducted bombing missions against the Islamic State, by burning him and burying him in rubble they were essentially meting out a punishment equivalent to being bombed. This concept that retaliation should be equivalent to the offense is called qisas. It is the same reason a Saudi court ruled a man’s back should be broken after the man paralyzed someone. It’s based off the quranic citation Sura 16:126, “And if you punish [an enemy, O believers], punish with an equivalent of that with which you were harmed. But if you are patient – it is better for those who are patient.”

Secondly, Islamic State cited medieval Islamic scholar ibn Taymiyyah, whose works on takfir (declaring as an apostate one who violates Islamic law, rather than only those who affirm their own apostasy) are heavily cited by many modern jihadists. Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sayyid Qutb utilized Ibn Taymiyyah in establishing the Brotherhood’s practice of applying the concept of Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic ignorance) to modern Arab regimes thus justifying them as targets of a legitimate jihad.

It’s thus no surprise that while many were up in arms about ISIS’ decision, Muslim Brotherhood cleric Abdul Majeed Al-Zindani, tweeted a defense of ISIS, and their citation of Ibn Taymiyyah, saying that those who reject Ibn Taymiyyah, reject the Quran (H/T to@iaskmaie on Twitter for finding and translating the tweet which few if any have picked up on.) Al-Zindani is an influential leader of the Yemeni Muslim Brotherhood’s Al-Islah Party. Al Zindani is also a specially designated global terrorist by the U.S. Treasury  Department due to his role in the Union of the Good, which supports Hamas, and his influence on Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden.

Nor is Al-Zindani alone. The watchdog group MEMRI recently published a Jordanian media video where Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood leader, Sheikh Hamza Mansour  patently refused to identify the Islamic State as a terrorist group, despite pressure from the interviewer:

Interviewer: Is ISIS a terrorist organization?

Hamza Mansour: There are terrorists of every sort – Sunnis, Shiites, Muslims, Christians, Jews…

Interviewer: The Islamic State organization, sir – do you consider it to be terrorist?

Hamza Mansour: There is no definition of terrorism today. Anybody who says a couple of words is automatically considered a terrorist. We condemn terrorism in all its shapes and sizes.

Interviewer: And ISIS?

Hamza Mansour: Let me tell you….

Interviewer: I’m asking a clear question. I insist on getting an answer. This is a yes/no question.

Hamza Mansour: I condemn terrorism in all forms. Are you giving me the third degree?

While it’s certainly true that there is outrage around the globe, the underpinnings of Islamic State, through Al Qaeda, to the Muslim Brotherhood, to Shariah law itself, remain in place, and they will continue to be influential to those attracted to the cause of establishing the Caliphate and instituting Islamic law. Underestimating that appeal or focusing solely on the brutal reality of the Islamic State instead of the intellectual and ideological framework built by groups like the Muslim Brotherhood (which has itself issued a call to jihad against Egypt), is a recipe for continued failure in defeating not just ISIS but the Global Jihad Movement more generally.

Defining Jihad Downward

Screen-Shot-2014-12-12-at-2.44.37-PM-190x142CSP, By Kyle Shideler:

My colleague Adam Savit has already taken the BBC to task for their write up of a recent report on Jihadist violence in the month of November, which neglected to include the murder of Israelis. This led me to drill down deeper into the report by the International Center for the Study of Radicalisation and Political violence. Not only did the report neglect to include Hamas violence in its study of jihadi attacks, but it does so explicitly and intentionally. The report notes:

This definition excludes Shia militant groups such as Hezbollah that justify fighting in the name of jihad but are located outside the Sunni tradition. Indeed, the jihadists of al Qaeda, the Islamic State and like-minded groups regard Hezbollah as ‘apostates’ and have been among the most vociferous opponents of Shia militant groups in places like Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.

The definition also excludes the Palestinian group Hamas which advocates ‘jihad’ and – unlike Hezbollah – is widely recognized as Sunni. Its religious, social and political doctrine, however, is not Salafist.
Jihadist groups such as al Qaeda have repeatedly condemned Hamas for recognizing man-made laws and becoming involved in democratic elections, while Hamas, in turn, has repressed – and fought against – jihadist groups.

This justification is at best ignorant, and at worst mendacious.

While it is true that Hezbollah is fighting Islamic State and Al Qaeda in Syria, Hezbollah also has a long history of cooperation with Al Qaeda. Are the authors of this report unaware that it was Hezbollah which introduced Al Qaeda to the truck bombing techniques used in the Africa Embassy bombings (a role for which they have been held responsible in court) and that relationships between Iran’s terrorist facilitators the IRGC, Hezbollah and AL Qaeda were forged during the Pan Arab and Islamic Conference held by Sudan in the 1990s? Perhaps they are equally unaware that Hezbollah’s patron, Iran, has been held responsible for its role in 9/11 in federal court, due to its role in facilitating the movement of the hijackers, and that the 9/11 Commission notes the role of Hezbollah’s master terrorist Imad Mugniyeh in assisting the 9/11 attacks? One supposes that given its narrow justification the ICSR would not consider the  Embassy bombings or the 9/11 attacks  “jihadist” violence either.

Then there is the ICSR’s statement on Hamas. Hamas is the wing of the Muslim Brotherhood responsible for engaging in jihad terror against Israel. Hamas is completely open about this connection, having documented it in its original founding charter. Hamas was perhaps best described by leading Hamas representative Ismail Haniyeh who remarked that Hamas is the “jihadi movement of the Brotherhood with a Palestinian face.” From its earliest foundation, The Muslim Brotherhood’s own founder Hasan Al-Banna described his movement as consisting of “a Salafiyya message…”  Prior to founding the Brotherhood Al-Banna was himself a member of the Salafi groups, including the Society for the Prevention of the Forbidden.

Further more, Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sayyid Qutb’s most important work “Milestones”, was a major inspiration for Osama Bin Laden (according to the 9/11 Commission report again) and consists entirely of a discussion regarding how to restore the world to Islam, while using the methods of the early Muslims (i.e. Salaf).  The original founder of the MAK (Afghan Service Bureau) Abdullah Azzam together with Osama Bin Laden, and the author of “In Defense of Muslim Lands” the doctrinal work which best established Jihad as an fard al-ayn (individual obligation), was both a Muslim Brother and a co-founder of Hamas.  Azzam’s picture is still visible in the offices of Hamas today.

Besides Sayyid Qutb and Abdullah Azzam,  other Muslim Brotherhood members have also played a key role in creating the very doctrine of Al Qaeda, such as Abdul Mjid Aziz Al-Zindani, the leading cleric of the Yemeni branch of Muslim Brotherhood, was a close mentor of Osama Bin Laden and a contact of the AQ-linked Ansar al-Islam.  Al-Zindani was also a board member of the specially designated entity the Union of the Good, an organization run by Muslim Brotherhood cleric Yusuf Al Qaradawi, whose primary purpose is to fund Hamas.

The claim by ICSR that Hezbollah and Hamas should be excluded from an accounting of Jihadist violence merely because they (at times) have disagreed with Al Qaeda or other jihadist groups is utterly inane. After all Al Qaeda and ISIS are currently locked in a struggle themselves (see for example this video released today by MEMRI featuring ISIS members interrogating Jabhat al Nusra members and denouncing them as apostates), and Muslim Brotherhood-linked militias in the Syrian civil war fight alongside Al Qaeda, and yet the ICSR can’t quite bring itself to declare that Al Qaeda is not a jihadist group.

Jihad as religiously-obligatory warfare to establish Islamic law remains a concept which extends across both Sunni and Shia sects, and amongst all schools of Islamic law. There is no legitimate justification for excluding these groups, and to do so is to reduce the term “jihad” or “jihadist violence” until it is becomes meaningless. The reality is that Jihadist violence is a threat larger than simply just the “Salafi-jihadi” matrix which some insist on shoving it into.

White House Label of Brotherhood as Non-Violent Patently False

Christian Copts protest the killing of their brethren by Muslim Brotherhood supporters after former President Mohammed Morsi took over office in Egypt. Morsi represented the Brotherhood's "Freedom and Justice" party. (Photo: © Reuters)

Christian Copts protest the killing of their brethren by Muslim Brotherhood supporters after former President Mohammed Morsi took over office in Egypt. Morsi represented the Brotherhood’s “Freedom and Justice” party. (Photo: © Reuters)

Facts prove the Brotherhood’s violent history. The White House itself has condemned the organization’s calls to violence.

By Ryan Mauro:

The White House has rejected a request to label the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group, describing the group as non-violent. The statement is not only at odds with known facts; it’s at odds with statements made by the White House only one year ago.

The White House statement came in response to a petition with 200,000 signatures citing the Brotherhood’s history of violence and how its preachers, particularly Sayyid Qutb, have bred multitudes of terrorists. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates recently banned the Brotherhood as a terrorist group.

“We have not seen credible evidence that the Muslim Brotherhood has renounced its decades-long commitment to non-violence,” the White House said.

Yet, on July 8, 2013, the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, “We also condemn the explicit calls to violence made by the Muslim Brotherhood.”

The Alleged Brotherhood Rejection of Violence

Firstly, the White House and many Western officials are misinterpreting an alleged repudiation of violence by the Muslim Brotherhood after the execution of Brotherhood ideologue Sayyid Qutb in 1966.

The reason for the use of the word “alleged” is because there is no Muslim Brotherhood manifesto of unequivocal non-violence anywhere to be found. For all the talk of this momentous change, the Brotherhood has never produced  an authoritative declaration explaining this supposed ideological moderation.

The only cited text is a book with a translated title of “Preachers, Not Judges” or “Missionaries, Not Judges.” Sources differ as to whether it was published in 1969 or 1977, and it is said to have been written by the Muslim Brotherhood’s General Guide, Hasan al-Hudaybi, as he sat in an Egyptian prison.

The book is marked as the “moment” the Brotherhood transformed from a militant group to a non-violent educational group. It is often described as a formal rebuttal to the teachings of Sayyid Qutb.

However, top experts have concluded that the text was not even written by Al-Hudaybi, nor is there any evidence that it was written or endorsed by the Brotherhood.

One such expert is Dr. Barbara Zollner, Director of Islamic Studies at Birbeck College, University of London. Zollner wrote her doctoral thesis on the text; she also wrote a book about Al-Hudaybi.

“Overall, my argument is that Preachers, Not Judges was not written by Hassan al-Hudaybi, and secondly, it is not written as a response to Sayyid Qutb,” she says.

Zollner theorizes that the book is a product of the Egyptian government and Al-Azhar University based on the accounts of Egyptian officials and Brotherhood leaders at the time.

In fact, the book doesn’t even mention Qutb or call on Muslims to discard his preaching. Far from casting Qutb aside, the Brotherhood still exalts him and hasn’t lifted a finger to promote this alleged Al-Hudaybi text. Al-Hudaybi himself never promoted it.

On the contrary. “Qutb’s Signposts remains a standard part of the organization’s introductory membership curriculum … while Preachers, Not Judges has not been reprinted in Egypt for more than three decades and hasn’t appeared in print anywhere in the Arabic world since 1985,” explains Patrick Poole.

If this book were so seminal, the Brotherhood would at least have translated it into English and disseminated it. But, it has not, even though the Brotherhood has a frequently updated English-language website and Twitter handle.

One thing the book does is to rebut the Muslim doctrine of takfirism, a practice where Muslims declare another Muslim as an apostate without a trial or proof of treason. As can be seen historically and today, Takfirism leads to Muslim-on-Muslim violence because it enables Muslim extremists to unilaterally judge a co-religionist’s faith and essentially sentence him or her to death.

The Brotherhood and its apologists will counter that this analysis is proof that the Brotherhood proclaims non-violence today.

“The Muslim Brotherhood is committed to peaceful opposition action. It rejects all forms of violence,” it said in September.

The context of this quote is important. It was said by the Foreign Affairs Secretary of the Brotherhood’s political wing in Egypt, the Freedom and Justice Party, about  Egypt and only about Egypt.

A “Non-Violent” Group That Supports Violence Outside of Egypt

Western governments fail to understand that this stance is limited only to Egypt and is in accordance with the Brotherhood doctrine of “gradualism;” a pragmatic strategy of incremental change during periods of weakness.

Contrary to the White House’s statement, the Brotherhood does notrule out violence or terrorism entirely. In fact, it actively encourages violence in places outside of Egypt.

Tellingly, the Brotherhood’s Palestinian wing, Hamas, is officially designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the United States.

Hamas’ charter states in Part 1, Article 2 that it is “one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine. The Muslim Brotherhood Movement is a world organization, the largest Islamic Movement in the modern era.”

In 2006, senior Brotherhood leader Essam El-Erian said, “Hamas is part of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

In 2011, Hamas officially changed its name to include, “a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood—Palestine.” The following year, a video appeared showing Hamas leaders, including Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, declaring allegiance to the Brotherhood and specifically to its jihad.

Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood have never denied their affiliation, nor have they ever condemned each other or severed ties. It is an indisputable affiliation. Former Egyptian President Morsi was actually the main liaison between Hamas and the Egyptian Brotherhood before getting into power.

The Muslim Brotherhood overtly endorses the violent destruction of Israel, suicide bombings and terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians. This fact also has never been disputed by the Brotherhood.

These facts not only discredit the White House’s position that the Brotherhood is non-violent, they discredits the White House’s position that the Brotherhood is not a terrorist group.

Read more at Clarion Project

Why Al-Qaeda Just Won’t Die

OsombieBy Sebastian Gorka:

These days, zombies are all the rage. Viewing figures for the season finale of the hit show The Walking Dead are to be envied. Blockbuster movies featuring Brad Pitt proclaim the genre, as do popular books reconceiving Jane Austen among the living dead.

Perhaps this is no coincidence. The fascination with zombies may be fed subconsciously by a real-world global foe which bears more than a passing resemblance to George Romero’s iconic monsters. Al-Qaeda, even if not actually peopled by animated corpses, is a cult of death. Ayman al-Zawahiri said exactly that when he declared that he and his cohorts love death more than we love life. On top of that, it seems that—despite declarations to the contrary from the White House and more than thirteen years of U.S. counterterrorism operations—al-Qaeda is far from deceased.

Slide2_0In fact, in at least one respect, al-Qaeda may be even worse than the menace of the walking dead. In the latter’s case, they at least have the decency to die when you strike them hard enough in the head. Not so with al-Qaeda. We killed Osama bin Laden, its founder and head, more than two years ago, yet the body of jihadi terrorism fights on. So much so that in his recent open testimony before Congress, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper stated that al Qaeda now has operational centers in in twelve nations around the world, from Mali to Syria.(1) By way of comparison, in 2001, when we started the war against al-Qaeda, it had operations centers in just one country: Afghanistan. Indeed, as the graph below, based upon open-source unclassified databases illustrates, al-Qaeda is on the rise.

So why is it proving so hard to kill al-Qaeda? Because as a nation we have broken the fundamental rules of strategy: we have failed to execute an objective analysis of why the threat exists and what it wants. Worse, in the last four years we have distorted reality even further by allowing preconceived notions and politically driven strictures to influence and limit our understanding of the enemy.

Know Thine Enemy

I spend my days teaching strategy to the military, federal law enforcement and their intelligence community colleagues. Whoever the audience, we always start in the same place: if you have an enemy that you want to defeat, you have to know who they are, where they came from and what their strategy is. The military calls this an Estimate of the Situation, or more operationally, Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield. In the decade-plus war with al-Qaeda, we have been erratic and counterfactual in our EoS and IPB.

After 9/11, the President declared a global war on “terror.” The term was an odd one, for terror is the tool of several types of actor, especially dictators who use it systematically against their own people and dissidents abroad. Yet our GWOT was not targeted against recognized practitioners of terror, such as the Kim dynasty in North Korea or the mullahs in Iran. Nor did our global campaign target all terrorist groups. We did not deploy Delta Force against Basque separatists in Spain, or the eco-terrorist ELF (Earth Liberation Front), but against a very specific foe: those that were responsible for the attacks of 9/11. Those “practitioners of terror” justified their murder of unarmed civilians with a religious narrative that saw the West—Dar al Harb, or the House of War—as having declared war on Islam, and had as their strategic objective the re-establishment of the theocratic empire of Islam known as the Caliphate.

Yet from the very start, the President and his team assiduously disassociated al-Qaeda from Islam, representing bin Laden and his followers as renegade extremists whose actions were un-Islamic. This, despite the fact that their fatwas leveraged the words of Allah and Mohammed, those Koranic passages and sections of the Haddith (sayings and tales of Mohammed) that explicitly call for the death of the infidel.(2)

To be clear, as a nation America was never at war with Islam. Nor is it now. We are, however, at war with people who have a fundamental understanding of Islam, and whose broader legitimacy is very difficult to theologically undermine due to their reliance on the ancient tenets of an often-violent religion. But what exactly is al-Qaeda, and where did it come from?

Root Causes

The story starts with the Caliphate, which—contrary to popular conception—is not some abstract idea invented by a small group of extremists. The theocratic empire of Islam, the polity that integrated faith and politics and which was founded by Mohammed, existed for over a thousand years. True, its center moved over time, from Mecca to Damascus, then to Baghdad and finally to Istanbul, but it was a real living thing which still existed at the beginning of the 20th century. By then, it was under Turkish control and most people called it the Ottoman Empire. Yet this was the Caliphate, and there was even a Caliph, or emperor of Islam.

Unfortunately for the Ottomans, after World War I broke out they decided to side with the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Germany. As a result, by 1918 they were on the losing side of the world’s first global war. In an attempt to salvage the Muslim empire after this defeat, and prevent total dismemberment and disarmament along the lines of what occurred to Germany and Austria-Hungary at Versailles, the Ottomans reinvented themselves under the leadership of a very charismatic and intelligent army officer named Mustafa Kemal. Kemal, who would later change his name to Atatürk—meaning Father of All Turks—would reinvent the nation that would eventually become the Republic of Turkey.

Atatürk’s strategy was to convince the West that his people no longer were a threat and that his nation should be recognized as a member of their community. This required a wholesale reinvention of his country, the key pillars of which were the separation of Islam and politics and the broader secularization of Turkey. To that end, he not only banned traditional Turkic-Islamic dress for officials of the state but replaced the Arabic alphabet with a modified version of our Roman one.(3) Most significantly, in 1924 Atatürk formally decreed the dissolution of the Caliphate.(4) It is no accident, therefore, that less than five years later in the Suez region of Egypt, one Hasan al-Banna established the Ikwan Muslimin, or Muslim Brotherhood, the avowed mission of which was—and still is—to reestablish the Caliphate which had been “unjustly” dissolved.

After World War I, certain Middle Eastern territories that had been part of the Ottoman Empire were put under the mandate of the British government. These lands include what we today call Israel, as well as the Palestinian territories (the West Bank and Gaza Strip). After WWII, as violence escalated between Arabs and Jews and between these groups and British mandate forces, London decided that after six years of fighting the Nazis, the British had no future as the governors of the Middle East and pulled out of Palestine. It was under these circumstances that the new Jewish state of Israel was declared.

From the Muslim perspective, and the view of the Arab states that invaded Israel the day after it declared its statehood, this was the second seismic blow to the psyche of the ummah, the global community of Islam. From the perspective of the true believer, this territory is sacred Muslim soil. So much so, that before the Qibla—the Islamic direction of prayer—became Mecca, all Muslims had to face Jerusalem five times a day as they prayed to their creator, Jerusalem being the third holiest site in Islam and the place from which Mohammed was said to have risen into heaven.

However, the most important year of all for anyone who wishes to understand why 9/11 happened and what al-Qaeda stands for, is 1979. In the Muslim world, which follows a shorter lunar calendar initiated when Mohammed journeyed from Mecca to Medina (Yathrib), 1979 represented a turn of the century, the shift from 1399 into the year 1400. And just as with other cultures, there were many in the Muslim world who had great expectations for the new century, that significant events would occur. And so they did.

First came the Iranian Revolution. Although a Shi’a event, it had great ramifications for all Muslims. With the removal of the Shah and the complete rejection of the Western model of the secular nation-state, the revolution had at its core the religious imperative that Islam and politics cannot be separated. That is why the real center of power in the Islamic Republic since 1979 has been a man of the cloth and not a politician. This message of the reintegration of faith and politics and the continued success of Iran in rejecting the Western way of politics is an example to all Muslims.

Second was the attack against the holiest site in Islam: the Siege of the Grand Mosque of Mecca. As the Muslim world was collectively entering the year 1400, more than a thousand jihadi terrorists stormed the Grand Mosque and declared a Holy War against “false Muslims.” The terrorists managed to control the most important site in Islam, the epicenter of the annual hajj pilgrimage, for almost two weeks. More importantly, it turned out that the radicals had been encouraged and in fact blessed by members of the Saudi ulema, or clerical class, who agreed that Islam had lost its way and had to be cleansed by force.

The siege was eventually broken by French commandos who had been smuggled into Mecca after being hastily converted to Islam. But the true geostrategic significance of the attack came afterwards, as the King of Saudi Arabia, in an effort to secure the House of Saud, made a pact with the ulema who had endorsed the jihad.(5) The deal was straightforward: in exchange for the support and patronage of the monarchy, the clerics would not propagate the ideology of jihad on the soil of the Kingdom. However, the export and dissemination of jihadi ideology outside of Saudi Arabia into non-Muslim lands was not only permissible but would be supported by the government.

Lastly, that December, came the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. With the unprovoked assault against a Muslim country by godless communists, the seeds were sown for the redefinition of jihad as a global brand, a brand that would exploit the Western desire to hurt the Kremlin for its military expansion into Southwest Asia.

One of the non-Afghan mujahedeen that took up the fight was a Palestinian Jordanian named Abdullah Azzam. With a PhD in fiqh—Islamic jurisprudence—from the most important Sunni institution in the world, al-Azhar University in Cairo, this charismatic teacher established the Services Bureau (MAK) to recruit Muslims from around the world to come to Pakistan, learn the rudiments of guerrilla warfare and then be deployed into Afghanistan against the Soviet forces. The same year he would release a fatwa entitled Defense of Muslim Lands, in which he would call all Muslims to Holy War, declaring jihad to be fard ayn, an individual and universal obligation of all believers.(6)

Azzam’s logic was clear, and compelling. Since Atatürk had dissolved the empire in 1924, there was no longer a Caliph or commander-in-chief who could declare a holy war. As a result, it was up to each and every believer to deploy himself. Eventually, according to authoritative estimates, the MAK would churn out between 50,000 and 100,000 fighters, including the man who became Azzam’s deputy, Osama bin Laden.(7) A decade later, after the Soviets had been vanquished in Afghanistan, Azzam would be assassinated in Pakistan and bin Laden would take over control of his organization and rename it The Base for the Propagation of Holy War against Jews and Crusaders, or al-Qaeda, as we call it in the West.

Read more at The Journal of International Security Affairs

Dr. Sebastian Gorka is Associate Dean and Associate Professor of War and Conflict Studies at National Defense University in Washington and a regular instructor and advisor for SOCOM, US Army Special Operations Command, and the FBI. Dr Gorka is also the National Security Editor for Breitbart.com.

Professors Shill for Islamism


Only ten people, including two imams and a reporter, showed up to hear University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, professor of religious studies Carl W. Ernst deliver the “First Annual Ibrahim Abu-Rabi Lecture” on May 7 at the International Council for Middle East Studies (ICMES) in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C. Ernst was introduced by ICMES founder and president Norton Mezvinsky, who came to ICMES after a 42-year career teaching Middle East history at Connecticut State University.

A self-professed “anti-Zionist,” Mezvinsky endorsed the infamous 1975 Zionism-is-racism U.N. resolution and developed amiable relations with the deranged anti-Semitic Lyndon LaRouche movement and once spoke at the LaRouchite Schiller Institute in Germany. He also co-authored Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel with the late Israel Shahak, whose work, MEF Fellow Asaf Romirowsky wrote, “rests on his conviction that Judaism is the font of all evil and that most global issues can ultimately be traced back to Judaism via a world-wide Jewish conspiracy.”

In dedicating its inaugural lecture series to the memory of former ICMES director Ibrahim Abu-Rabi, ICMES signals its support of his radical ideology. Mezvinsky tearfully recalled his late “very good friend” and “distinguished scholar,” about whose book on the Muslim Brotherhood’s Sayyid Qutb Daniel Pipes wrote, “author and subject meld into a nearly seamless whole” so that, for Qutb and likeminded individuals, Abu-Rabi was “their apostle to an English-speaking audience.”

Appreciatively hearing Mezvinsky were Imams Mohammad Magid and Johari Abdul-Malik. The Sudanese-born Magid heads two groups with disturbing Islamist connections, the Muslim Brotherhood-founded, terrorism unindicted co-conspirator Islamic Society of North America and the All Dulles Area Muslim Societymosque in northern Virginia. The American convert Abdul-Malik, meanwhile, who called Magid “my teacher” at a press conference the day after the ICMES lecture, is outreach director at northern Virginia’s Dar al-Hijrah mosque, known for many years of attracting violent individuals, some personally defended by Abdul-Malik.

Ernst used PowerPoint to illustrate a chapter on Islamic ethics from his 2004 book, Following Muhammad: Rethinking Islam in the Contemporary World. Hackneyed accusations of “modern Islamophobia” with a “connection to racism & anti-Semitism” in an aggressive, post-Cold War Western society seeking “another opponent to take the place of the Soviet Union” introduced Ernst’s comments. “Islamophobia,” Ernst elaborated, “draws upon a well-established attack” upon Catholics previously called disloyal to a secular state.

Read more at Front Page

The Muslim Brotherhood’s “Peaceful Conquest”

by Valentina Colombo:

“Political and religious terrorism began with the birth of the Muslim Brotherhood…” — Farag Foda, Egyptian intellectual murdered by Islamists in 1992, in Terrorism [al-Irhab]

Islamist movements have different tactics… but their goal is always the same: Get in and impose sharia law to establish an Islamic state.

The problem is not so much the Muslim Brotherhood as the schizophrenia of governments that one day condemn them and the next day work with them.

“What I think is important about the Muslim Brotherhood,” British Prime Minister David Cameron said on April 1, while announcing a long-overdue investigation of the activities of Muslim Brotherhood in the UK and its involvement in February’s terror attack at the Egyptian resort of Taba, “is that we understand what this organisation is, what it stands for, what its beliefs are in terms of the path of extremism and violent extremism, what its connections are with other groups, what its presence is here in the United Kingdom. Our policies should be informed by a complete picture of that knowledge. It is an important piece of work because we will only get our policy right if we fully understand the true nature of the organisation that we are dealing with.”


“The objective, then, is to strike terror into the hearts of God’s enemies, who are also the enemies of the advocates of Islam…” — Sayyid Qutb, chief ideologue of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s and 1960s.

The Egyptian Brotherhood’s reaction, published on its English website, was immediate:

The Muslim Brotherhood has always had a perfectly reputable and verifiable history record and a correct understanding of religion ever since it was founded, more than 86 years ago. The group is ready and willing to cooperate with all efforts to understand its beliefs, policies and positions. It also denounces all media campaigns that try to demonize the group and link it to violent incidents which it condemned in no ambiguous terms at the time, the most recent of which was the attack on a tourist bus in Taba (in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula) in February 2014.[…]

The Brotherhood’s press release also pointed out the long-standing relationship between the Muslim Brotherhood and the UK:

First: The Brotherhood was surprised at the latest remarks, since all successive British governments had always been the most expertly informed about the group’s positions and peaceful approach. The group has not and will not change its principles or approach no matter how big or small it becomes, notwithstanding all the injustice it suffers, the cold-blooded murders and arbitrary arrests of its members.

Second: The group’s principles and ideology, which it has been teaching its members for more than eighty years in all parts of the world, from East to West, have been announced, published and thoroughly researched and studied by many Muslim and non-Muslim scholars, researchers and research centers all over the world – all of which affirmed, time and time again, that the group’s approach is perfectly peaceful and that all its methods are non-violent.

Third: The behavior and actions of all those who subscribe to the group’s principles and teachings, all those who belong to the Brotherhood, are evidently exemplary in compliance with the laws and regulations of the countries where they reside, and even in serving the countries where they are raised […]

The Muslim Brotherhood has indeed had a long history of relations with Britain. In 2010, Mark Curtis publishedSecret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam, a well documented essay that could save David Cameron a lot of research work. Curtis writes,

By 1942 Britain had definitely begun to finance the Brotherhood. On 18 May British embassy officials held a meeting with Egyptian Prime Minister Amin Osman Pacha, in which relations with the Muslim Brotherhood were discussed and a number of points were agreed. One was that ‘subsidies from the Wafd [Party] to the Ikhwani el Muslimin [Muslim Brotherhood] would be discreetly paid by the [Egyptian] government and they would require some financial assistance in this matter from the [British] Embassy.

A British embassy report from Cairo in late 1951 stated that the Brotherhood ‘possess[es] a terrorist organisation of long-standing which has never been broken by police action’, despite the recent arrests. However, the report otherwise downplayed the Brothers’ intentions towards the British, stating that they were ‘planning to send terrorists into the Canal Zone’ but ‘they do not intend to put their organisation as such into action against His Majesty’s forces’. Another report noted that although the Brotherhood had been responsible for some attacks against the British, this was probably due to ‘indiscipline’, and it ‘appears to conflict with the policy of the leaders’. (emphasis added)

Curtis’s analysis therefore emphasizes the cooperation and, more importantly, the relativistic approach of the British government to movement founded by Hasan al-Banna.

Read more at Gatestone Institute


The Muslim Brotherhood and Terrorist Organizations

by Valentina Colombo:

“[T]he organization of the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization, and anyone who asks either to reconcile with them, to join them or to ally with them is himself a terrorist.” — Refaat Saïd, leader of Egypt’s Socialist party, al-Tagammu’, and previously close friend of former Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide, Mahdi Akef.

It should come as no surprise, then, that the motto of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis is also the verse singled out by Hassan al Banna: “Fight them until there is no fitnah [discord], and [until] the religion, all of it, is for Allah.” [Qur’an, Sura VIII, verse 39]

The link between the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas is clear, and confirmed by Article 2 of the Charter of Hamas, which reads: “The Islamic Resistance movement is one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine”.

A new terror group, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis [ABM], just officially entered the scene. Both the U.S. State Department and the British government included it, at the beginning of April, in their list of proscribed terrorist organizations.

The United Kingdom justified its decision as follows: “ABM is an Al Qa’ida inspired militant Islamist group based in the northern Sinai region of Egypt. The group is said to recruit within Egypt and abroad and aims to create an Egyptian state ruled by Sharia law. ABM is assessed to be responsible for a number of attacks on security forces in Egypt since 2011. The attacks appear to have increased since the overthrow of the Morsi government in July 2013. The group’s reach goes beyond the Sinai, with the group claiming responsibility for a number of attacks in Cairo and cross-border attacks against Israel. ABM has undertaken attacks using vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices and surface-to-air missiles. Examples of attacks for which the group has claimed responsibility include: an attack on the Egyptian Interior Minister in which a UK national was seriously injured (September, 2013); an attack on a police compound in Mansoura, killing at least 16 people, including 14 police officers (December 24, 2013), and an attack on a tourist bus in which three South Koreans and their Egyptian driver died (January 16, 2014).”

The decision taken by the British government against Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis came almost at the same time as the decision to start investigations on the activities of Muslim Brotherhood [MB] and its possible links with terrorism.


Terrorists from the group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis.

There is however a link between ABM and the Muslim Brotherhood: the justification of jihad, based on the Koranic text.

Although in January 2014, after the December 24 attack — linked by the British government statement to ABM — the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood issued a declaration in which it denied any connection with ABM, Refaat Saïd, the leader of the Socialist Party, Tagammu’, said otherwise.

Saïd pointed out, during the visit of Catherine Ashton to Egypt on the eve of its presidential elections, that Ashton “wants to open channels for a reconciliation with the Muslim Brotherhood despite knowing perfectly well that Dr. Mohammed Morsi himself imported the organization of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis and placed it in the Sinai. Morsi released many of its members from prison so they could carry out terror attacks in the Sinai region to take him back to power.”

Saïd bluntly added that “the organization of the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization, and anyone who asks either to reconcile with them, to join them or to ally with them is himself a terrorist.”[1]

Saïd, previously a close friend of Mahdi Akef, the former MB Supreme Guide, knows the Brotherhood closely.

In September 2013, after an attack on the Egyptian Minister of the Interior, Major General Ahmad ‘Abd al-Halim explained that “Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis is an organization including 15 organizations acting and working in Gaza and belonging to the sphere of al-Qaeda and Hamas.”[2]

Colonel Farouq Hamdan — an aide to former Egyptian Interior Minister — also commented that “the attack was carried out with the blessing of, and consultation between the organizations of the Muslim Brotherhood and Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which was funded by the Brotherhood.”[3]

The connection between Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, al-Qaeda and Hamas — already on the official lists of proscribed terrorist organizations in the West — and the Muslim Brotherhood — which is already presently on the proscribed terror organizations of Russia (February 2003), Syria (21 October 2013), Egypt (25 December 2013), Saudi Arabia (7 March 2013) and the United Arab Emirates (9 March 2014) — is sometimes a direct one, and sometimes an ideological link.

The link between the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas is clear and straight, and confirmed by Article 2 of the Charter of Hamas, which reads: “The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine. The Muslim Brotherhood Movement is a world organization, the largest Islamic Movement in the modern era. It is characterized by a profound understanding, by precise notions and by a complete comprehensiveness of all concepts of Islam in all domains of life: views and beliefs, politics and economics, education and society, jurisprudence and rule, indoctrination and teaching, the arts and publications, the hidden and the evident, and all the other domains of life.”

It would appear rather more difficult to demonstrate the link between the Muslim Brotherhood and some markedly jihadist movements such as Al Qaeda, Gamaat al-Islamiyya — also internationally recognized as a terrorist organization — and Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis.

In 2005, Sylvain Besson published, for the first time in a Western language, a document in his book, The Conquest of the West: The Secret Project of Islamists, often referred to as “The Secret Project.”

The document, “Towards a global strategy of Islamic politics (starting points, elements, essential conditions and missions),” was found in 2001 by Swiss authorities in the house of Youssef Nada, one of the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West

similar version of the “Secret Project” was also aired in 2012 in a documentary film about the MB in the West by American journalist Glenn Beck. What is strange is that no one has given due importance to the contents of both documents.

“The Secret Project” explains the twelve starting points of the strategy of the Brotherhood in the West. For example:

“Step 5: Work to establish the Islamic state, in parallel make progressive efforts aiming at controlling the local centres of power through institutional work.

“Step 6: Work with loyalty alongside Islamic groups and institutions in various fields by agreeing on a common ground in order to cooperate on points of convergence while putting aside the points of divergence.

“Step 7: Accept the principle of temporary cooperation between Islamic movements and nationalist movements […]”

In Step 9, jihad is finally mentioned: “Build a permanent force of the Islamic preaching and support movements engaged in jihad in the Islamic world, in different ways and within the limits of the possible….Get in touch with any new movement engaged in jihad wherever in the planet, with Islamic minorities, and create walkways, according to requirements, to support and establish a partnership. Keep the jihad on alert in the umma [Muslim community] […].”

“The Secret Project” calls for a bond, a better collaboration with jihadi movements and it would seem that strategically, leaders and members of the MB consider both jihad and jihadi movements fundamental to achieve their goals.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

UK Mulls Ban on Brotherhood, Violent Response Threatened

david cameron

The UK gov’t will not focus only on “violent extremism,” but the ideologies driving it. That is a sharp difference from the U.S.

By Ryan Mauro:

The British government is signaling that it may join the Arab coalition against the Muslim Brotherhood by announcing an investigation of the group spearheaded by the ambassador to Saudi Arabia. The Saudis joined Egypt in banning the Brotherhood as a terrorist group last month.

Prime Minister David Cameron said, “We want to challenge the extremist narrative that some Islamist organizations have put out.”

He explained that the British government would not focus only on “violent extremism,” but the ideologies driving it. That is a sharp difference from the U.S. government, which will not even say the word “Islamist” and has a narrow focus on violence.

A government spokesman frankly admitted that the British government believes its intelligence on the Brotherhood is lacking. He said, “The Muslim Brotherhood has risen in prominence in recent years but our understanding of the organization—its philosophy and values—has not kept pace with this.”

The MI5 domestic intelligence service will review Brotherhood activity in the U.K., where it has active offices. To date, British policy allows the Brotherhood to operate in the country without restriction, harboring leaders that fled Egypt.

The MI6 foreign intelligences service will review Brotherhood activity abroad, including whether it was involved in a bombing of a tourist bus in Egypt in February that killed three South Koreans. Ansar Jerusalem, a Salafist group even more radical than the Brotherhood,claimed responsibility.

The Brotherhood claims it is opposed to violence inside Egypt and is not involved in such acts, but Salafist supporters of the Brotherhood often are. Raymond Ibrahim has documented this Brotherhood game and translated transcripts of alleged phone calls between then-President Mohammed Morsi and the brother of Ayman al-Zawahiri regarding secret collaboration.

Meanwhile, the Brotherhood issued a thinly veiled threat that the response to a government probe might be terrorist attacks.

Read more at Clarion Project


GMBDW has more on the MB leader making the threat:

Muslim Brotherhood Leader In Exile Warns UK Not To Ban Brotherhood; Says Increased Risk Of Terrorism Would Result 

UK media is reporting on a statement by a Muslim Brotherhood leader living in exile in the UK warning that banning the Brotherhood in the UK would lead to an increased risk of terrorism. According to a report in The Times:

Ibrahim MunirBanning the Muslim Brotherhood will leave Britain at greater risk of terrorist attacks, the group’s most senior leader in the UK said yesterday.

Speaking for the first time since David Cameron announced an investigation into the organisation’s alleged links to violent extremism, Ibrahim Mounir said that it risked alienating moderate Muslims.

“If this [ban] happened, this would make a lot of people in Muslim communities think that [peaceful] Muslim Brotherhood values . . . didn’t work and now they are designated a terrorist group, which would make the doors open for all options,” he said. Asked if he meant open to violence, he replied: “Any possibility.”

Mr Mounir, 77, added: “This would make more problems than we ever expect, not just for Britain, for all Islamic organisations round the world holding peaceful ideologies. If the UK makes this option, you can’t predict [what would happen] with Muslims around the globe, especially the big Muslim organisations close to the Muslim Brotherhood and sharing its ideology.”

Read the rest here (pay site)

Ibrahim Munir Mustafa (aka Ibrahim Munir, Ibrahim Mounir) was referred to in the past by the Egyptian Brotherhood as an Executive Bureau member of the Brotherhood’s International Organization while an Egyptian news report identifies him as the Secretary-General of the International Organization and one of its founders in 1982 as well as a spokesman for the Brotherhood in London. The latter Arabic language news report also provides some biographical detail on Mr. Munir who it says was sentenced to life imprisonment in Egypt in the 1950′s in connection with the events following the attempted assassination of then Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser. Following his early release in 1975, the report says Mr. Munir traveled and worked in the Gulf States on behalf of the Brotherhood following which he applied for and was granted political asylum in the UK. Mr. Munir is also known to be the general supervisor of the London-based Muslim Brotherhood publication known as the ‘Risalat Al-Ikhwan’ (Muslim Brotherhood Message). Mr. Munir drew international attention in 2010 when he was one of five members charged by Egyptian prosecutors with money laundering and raising funds abroad. In 2013, an Egyptian newspaper report, no longer available online, provided some detail regarding Mr. Munir’s alleged role in the scheme.


To understand the Muslim Brotherhood’s propaganda read this:

The al Qaeda threat in Turkey

download (54)By KAREN HODGSON, July 8, 2013


The threat of al Qaeda in Turkey is significantly understudied, considering the nature and number of targets against which the terror group has plotted attacks, including many targets affiliated with the United States. Perhaps this is because the Turkish police are successful in thwarting such attacks; foiled plots are not as sensational as those that are carried out and cause tragedy. Or it could be because terror in Turkey has historically been synonymous with the terrorism of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which distracts from the al Qaeda threat. It is also easy to dismiss Turkey as an unlikely target for al Qaeda, given its 99 percent Muslim population and currently Islamic-rooted government.

A look at al Qaeda’s targets, which appear to be concentrated on US, Turkish, British, Jewish, and Christian facilities, demonstrates the point. Plots involving American targets include a plan to attack the İncirlik Base in Adana in 2003; a foiled attack on the NATO summit in Istanbul in May 2004 that was to be attended by then-President George W. Bush; and an attack on the US Consulate in Istanbul in July 2008, which killed three policemen. In July 2011, an attack on the US Embassy in Ankara was thwarted just before Secretary of State Clinton’s visit. In April 2013, Turkish police found evidence of a new plot linked to al Qaeda to bomb the US Embassy in Ankara. As recently as May 2013, Turkish police uncovered a plot by the al Qaeda-linked Al Nusra Front to conduct sarin gas attacks against Turkish and American targets, a relatively new phenomenon which appears to be a result of the spillover effects of the Syrian war into Turkey.

Other targets include suicide attacks on the British Consulate, the headquarters of British HSBC international bank, and two big synagogues in Istanbul in November 2003, which killed some 60 people and injured at least 700; a possible attack on the Pope during his visit to Turkey in November 2006; and a plot to attack the Bilderberg Summit in Istanbul in June 2007. Turkish authorities have also intercepted al Qaeda plans to conduct attacks on churches and clergy in Ankara, Turkish soldiers in Afghanistan after their takeover of the Kabul Regional Command in November 2009, the Turkish parliament building, and an Israeli cruise ship to Turkey.

These incidents suggest that the al Qaeda threat in Turkey persists. In fact, an al Qaeda-linked document found during a recent raid in Turkey said that it was more beneficial for the group to target Turkey than the West. Routine operations and mass arrests of suspected al Qaeda members and sympathizers indicate the presence of a support network for its cause within Turkey. These indications, combined with the recent emergence of jihadists in Syria, and the presence of Al Nusra Front elements along certain parts of Turkey’s 570-mile border with Syria, make this a threat worth examining.

There are challenges in trying to decipher the al Qaeda threat in Turkey, however. Reports based on open sources such as this one have to make analyses based only on the information that is available. The media does not give much attention to thwarted attacks. And the Turkish press does not publish names of people arrested, to protect the privacy of the individuals and investigations; instead, only the suspects’ initials are published. Moreover, many al Qaeda operatives have one or more code names. In addition, many of the details of operations or what they reveal is not reported. Nevertheless, some conclusions can still be made about the characteristics of al Qaeda in Turkey today.

Al Qaeda’s narrative on Turkey suggests that it views Turkey as a Muslim traitor that abolished the Caliphate at the end of the Ottoman Empire, which for al Qaeda marks the start of the “Muslim world’s humiliation and contempt over the last 80 years.” Al Qaeda views Turkey — a country with free elections and a liberal economy, a member of NATO, and a strategic ally of the United States — as a US or Western puppet. Turkey was also one of the first countries to recognize Israel, and takes part in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, which leads al Qaeda to accuse Turkey of “cooperating with Israel” and “killing Muslims in Afghanistan.”

Read more at Long War Journal

The UK Confronts Islamism


by :

A century ago the murder of a British soldier in broad daylight in London would have been an act of war. In this post-imperial and post-everything age, an atrocity leads to a task force which produces a report which is then filed in a desk drawer by the undersecretary for something or other.

Like clockwork, the murder of Lee Rigby led to a task force and to a report. The report is 7 pages long. It’s possible to read it in much less than the twenty minutes that it took London police to respond to the murder in progress. You could even get through it a few times in real time while a Muslim convert who describes himself as a soldier of Allah saws away at a fallen Englishman’s head with no one to stop him.

There is a thing that organizations say when they know that they are hip deep in a crisis. They say that “we are taking this seriously.”

The report, “Tackling Extremism in the UK” certainly takes matters seriously. The evidence of that is not so much in the report, as in the task force which included the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, four Secretaries of State, three Ministers, one Chancellor, one Lord Chancellor and a partridge in a pear tree.

Like so many of the more “serious” and “sincere” efforts at tackling the biggest threat to civilization in the twenty-first century, the report mixes occasional good ideas with politically correct absurdities. It starts off by equating Islamophobia with Al Qaeda and rolls out a plan to fight back against Islamism.

“As the greatest risk to our security comes from Al Qa’ida and like-minded groups, and terrorist ideologies draw on and make use of extremist ideas, we believe it is also necessary to define the ideology of Islamist extremism,” the report states. And then it goes on to carefully avoid defining it except to contend that, whatever it is; it is not Islam.

“This is a distinct ideology which should not be confused with traditional religious practice. It is an ideology which is based on a distorted interpretation of Islam, which betrays Islam’s peaceful principles, and draws on the teachings of the likes of Sayyid Qutb.”

The mention of Sayyid Qutb is startling considering that the UK seemed to be pretending that the Muslim Brotherhood was a “moderate” group. Say what you will about Cameron, but I don’t see Obama chairing a task force that would produce a report denouncing the Muslim Brotherhood’s evil genius.

But Qutb’s mention feels like a random aberration thrown in by someone a little too knowing. Beyond that the only further definition of Islamist extremism is that, “they seek to impose a global Islamic state governed by their interpretation of Shari’ah as state law, rejecting liberal values such as democracy, the rule of law and equality.”

In other words, Islamists are seeking to impose Islam on everyone. But then they aren’t a distorted interpretation of Islam. Islamism is simply the organized political implementation of Islam in the same way that Nazism was the implementation of National Socialism and Marxism is the attempted implementation of Karl Marx’s ideas.

Apologists can argue that Marxism distorts Marx and that Islamism distorts Islam, but those remain unconvincing defenses. Implementing a set of ideas always distorts them, but realizing ideas is the only truly objective way to assess their merit by seeing their consequences.

What the report is clumsily getting at is the idea that Islam is legitimate in private practice, but not in public imposition. It’s Islam when a Muslim goes to a mosque or avoids alcohol, but Islamism when he harasses barflies or chops off heads under the dictates of Islamic law. Unfortunately this distinction has no meaning in Islam which was never rewired to function as a private religion in a secular state.

America dealt with the clash between religion and tolerance by separating church and state allowing churches to retain their full doctrine while secularizing the machinery of the state.  Europe dealt with it by secularizing and liberalizing national churches to such a degree that they no longer had any religious content that anyone could object to.

Islam was absent from Europe when this rewiring took place. Unlike its Christian and Jewish antagonists, it hasn’t been liberalized or secularized. And it insists on being a public religion because theocracy is what it was built to do. Islam was not the religion of the oppressed. It was the religion of the oppressors. It equates morality with authority. If it doesn’t control the public square, then it has no function.

To Europeans, the infringement of religious values on public life is considered extremism. More so than blowing up buses. But Islam is dedicated to doing exactly that. It is an unreconstructed theocracy.

Read more at Front Page

Coptic Leaders Condemn Obama Adviser’s Anti-Coptic Tweets

by John Rossomando
IPT News
October 11, 2013

Jihadist Ideology: The Core Texts


From The Westminster Institute:

Together these texts reveal not only the ideological foundation for jihad but also the strategy and tactics.  Dr. Sebastian Gorka provides an overview of these core texts, including their history, evolution and application.  Familiarity with and understanding of these texts is essential for anyone engaged in counter-terrorism, from the policymaker to the investigator to the street cop. These four texts have come to be recognized as constituting a canon in jihadist thinking:

Sayyid Qutb Milestones

Abdullah Azzam Defense of the Muslim Lands

S. K. Malik The Quranic Concept of Power

Ayman Al-Zawahiri Knights Under the Prophet’s Banner


This paper is the transcript of a briefing given by Dr. Gorka at the Westminster Institute on October 5th, 2010.

Listen to Audio at the link provided 

The Enemy Has a Plan

The message of my presentation is a simple one.  Firstly, if you want to understand the enemy, as one British policeman put it, “Read what they say.” These individuals are not shy, they like the limelight.  The CIA’s Open Source Center, for example, has compiled a huge unclassified collection of what Osama bin Laden has said over the years.  Anyone who wants to can read it.

Secondly, we must understand al Qaeda not as something that was created by bin Laden simply on the foundations of the Arab Mujahedeen movement.  Rather, Al Qaeda is the product of decades of ideological evolution that started with the Muslim Brotherhood. You could even argue it is in fact the product of centuries of ideological and conceptual evolution going back to the 10th and 11th centuries, to authors such as Ibn Taymiyyah (1263-1328) and even to the Asharites.  But we will focus here on 20th century developments.  The point is that you must be able to place al Qaeda in the context of this larger ideological flow.

Thirdly, and this is really tough for government officials and for people who like the kinetic stuff–hunting people down, chasing high value targets– we must stop obsessing on violent jihad, al Qaeda’s (AQ) kinetic strain of warfare. I have built my career on this foe, on understanding and explaining Al Qaeda.  However, AQ does not keep me awake at night any longer.  I am not afraid of another 9/11.  Rather, I am afraid of AQ’s soft jihadist colleagues, those who will not use violence, but organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood and the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), who use legal tools, economic tools, and lawfare–law as a weapon–to undermine our constitutional order.  That is by far the more difficult threat for us to deal with because our national security establishment is not geared towards this indirect sort of warfare and because we have not yet woken up to the seriousness of this threat.  But we have to remember one thing, and this is my fourth point. Both bin Laden, both AQ and organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood have the same objective.  They simply use different tools to arrive there. They both wish sharia compliance on the United States, a wiping away of the U.S. Constitution and the creation of a global Caliphate.  They are on the same team; they simply use different tools to win their fight.

In the next 40 minutes I am going to work through some of the most important ideologues in the enemy’s camp and give you some insights as to how they understand this war, and then I will get to the “so what?” question.  The bottom line is that the enemy has a plan, and he has made no secret of it.  It is written out and made clear for all who care to read it.  For anybody who works in the national security arena, it is your duty to be familiar with the enemy’s plan, to read and understand those who conceived of the conceptual framework which brought us September 11th, the Fort Hood massacre and the attempted Times Square attack.

Sayyid Qutb, Milestones

Let us start with Sayyid Qutb, perhaps the most well known of the original jihadi ideologues.  Why is he significant?  Because his book, Milestones, is the roadmap, the justification for events such as September 11th.  What is his significance in one sentence? His argument is that the world is heretical, it is to be forcibly cleansed by Islam, and Islam is not to be understood as just a religion. You cannot treat it like Buddhism, Taoism, or Judaism.  It is much more than that.  To Sayyid Qutb, Islam is a revolutionary party.

Who-is-QutbWho is Qutb?  Let us put the author into context.  He was born in Egypt in 1906.  He was trained as a teacher, as a person versed in the educational sciences.  He learned the Koran by heart by the age of ten, and then he began his professional career as a civil servant in the Egyptian Ministry of Education.  The turning point for him in his gradual radicalization was the time he spent in the United States as an exchange scholar, from 1948 to 1950.  Here in the U.S. he spent time in Washington, in California, and most infamously in Greely, Colorado, where he observed and wrote on the local town dances and saw in them the moral corruption of the United States, its materialism, and its basic heretical nature.

On his return to Egypt in 1950, Qutb was energized to reframe Islam as a divinely ordained political movement that must cleanse the world of its current state of jahiliyyah.  Now jahiliyyah is an important concept from the beginning of the founding of Islam by Mohammed.  Jahiliyyah simply means a state of pagan disbelief.  It was used to describe the tribes living around Mecca who worshipped many Gods, who worshipped statues, idols and so forth.  Mohammed’s mission was to remove jahiliyyah, this lack of knowledge of the oneness of God, from the Arabia peninsula.  Qutb takes this ancient concept of jahiliyyahand says: today the 20th century suffers from jahiliyyah, from confusion, from not understanding the oneness of Allah, that he is supreme, and it is the job of true Muslims to remove this state of pagan ignorance not only from the Middle East but from the whole world as well.  Why? Because for Qutb it was not simply a question of unfaithful Arab leaders in the Middle East, but it was also a question of the West culturally invading the Milestones1Middle East, politically invading the Middle East, putting what he saw as puppets onto the thrones of Arab nations.  What we need, according to Qutb, is an enlightened vanguard.  This is interesting because he clearly took concepts such as “the vanguard” from Communist ideology.  Therefore do not treat the Jihadist ideology as sui generis, something that is unique and by itself. No, writers such as Qutb and even people before him such as Mawdudi in Pakistan (or India as it was), saw the power of other western totalitarian ideologies.  It is this ironic absorption of western concepts that otherwise would be deemed to be heretical and anathema into their new religiously framed ideology that makes Islamism a hybrid totalitarianism.  Today’s ideology of Global Jihad is therefore not simply a totalitarian man-made construct like Communism or Fascism, but one divinely-framed, and therefore a hybrid concoction.

Concepts key to Qutb’s dozens of books include the idea of global social justice as possible only through Islam:  Islam’s mission is to free all men from the tyranny of other men.  It is a global and universal mission.  What does that mean?  It means that humankind must be “liberated” from political systems run by human beings and from laws created by human beings.  In other words, Qutb believed human kind must be liberated from systems such as our own here in the United States, with its man-made laws.  Democracy is run, as Lincoln told us, by the representatives of the people for the people.  Democracy therefore cannot be sharia-compliant, for democracy represents a rejection of Allah’s Koranic law. As a result it must be destroyed. Islam’s mission is universal, Islam is a political movement that uses violence.  Jihad, according to Qutb, is not offensive but defensive.  This is an important distinction that echoes in later writers like Abdullah Azzam, and I will get to this point in a moment when we discuss bin Laden’s erstwhile boss.

Islam, according to Qutb, is a divine liberation to be realized through jihad.  We must return, therefore, to the ways of the first generation.  We must return to follow the behavior, the patterns of thought, and law, and systems that were Mohammed’s Islam.

Some quotes from his most famous book, Milestones: Islam is “ordained for the whole of mankind.”  It is the “last message for humanity.  We must return to the clear spring, the source that is the Koran and the Hadith, unsullied by Roman, Greek, Persian concepts such as democracy.”  So he is saying they must remove the influence of Islam from western concepts such as Roman law, Greek philosophy and so forth.  Only that which comes from the Koran and the collections of writings about Mohammed’s life, the Hadith, is pure.  Islam has lost its way–meaning Islam as a community has lost its way.  This holy text, the Koran, must not be deemed to be theoretical.  That is important: the Koran is a guide to praxis.  It is like what we would call an FM, a field manual.  It is not something for scholars to debate at al Azhar University, it is a guidebook for life.  It must be understood in practical terms, not theoretical terms.

Islam is a movement that will return Muslims to the correct path and away from jahiliyyah.  The mission “is not to compromise with the practices of a jahiliyyah society or pagan society.”  This is important if you think about immigration and the troubles we are seeing in Western Europe.  Qutb writes, “We cannot be loyal to a society that suffers from jahiliyyah or paganism.  Our aim is first to change ourselves so that we can change society.  We will never compromise.”  “No political system of earthly power should hinder Islam. If someone does hinder Islam’s spread then it is Islam’s duty to fight that person until he is killed or until he declares his submission.”  This is a very important declaration.  Hindering Islam could mean anything in practice. It means if anyone prevents Islamic proselytizing, that individual must be fought until he is killed or until he submits to the will of Allah. This is a theme that is echoed in the other ideologues we are going to discuss. Obstructing proselytizing is understood by Qutb and today’s jihadists as the initial aggressive act, one which justifies defensive jihad.  

Abdullah Azzam, The Defense of Muslim Lands

AbdullahLet us move on. Who is Abdullah Azzam?  Abdullah Azzam is really the creator of al Qaeda.  Abdullah Azzam is the mentor, the former boss of bin Laden.  He was the founder of something called the MAK, the Arab Service Bureau, which bin Laden would turn into al Qaeda after Azzam was assassinated.  Azzam was born in occupied Palestine in 1941 and he is important in the constellation of Jihadist ideologues in part because of his credentials.  Unlike Qutb, unlike al-Zawahiri, a ministry official and an MD, Azzam had a PhD. from Al Azhar University in Islamic Law.  This is very important in the culture of Islam. Do you have theological credentials?  When bin Laden issues a fatwa he does not actually have the authority to do so because he is a business graduate.  This is not something we think of as a powerful vulnerability, but it is.  Abdullah Azzam was one of the ideologues who was truly credentialed to make theological justifications for jihad.

Azzam’s contribution to the Jihadist canon of ideology is that he took jihad and he made it into an international brand.  He is the Steve Jobs of jihad.  He took Islamic Holy War and made it into a globally recognized brand like Apple.  After the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979, Azzam traveled the world recruiting people to fight in the jihad against the heathen Russian infidels in Afghanistan.  He was so successful that he managed to rally Muslims of all nationalities to Afghanistan to fight with the Afghan Mujahedeen.

His most important concepts are contained in his monograph-length fatwaThe Defense of Muslim Lands, approved by the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia.  This is not just some fringe individual, some kook hanging out in the Tora Bora region. This is a man who, when he writes a fatwa of seventy pages, receives approval from one of the most important essence-of-Islamreligious authorities in the country of the two holy sites, Mecca and Medina.  So this jihadi ideologue has official backing for what he says.  His key ideas include the mythical theme of failure and rebirth in Islam.  Failure happens in Islam, why?  Very simply, because Muslims have lost their way.  If they get back onto the right track they will vanquish their enemies.  Why have they gone from having a great Caliphate, from having the Ottoman Empire, to having the first ever university (in Baghdad).   How do they fall from these heights?  The explanation is simple: Muslims have strayed from the path of true Islam and this is Allah’s recompense.  They will be unsuccessful as long as they remain untrue, according to Azzam.  In order to be powerful again, they must return to the true path, they must return to the essence of Islam.

Here it is very important to understand the concept of abrogation in the writings of Azzam and many others.  This is a core concept in Islam.  Azzam’s writings clearly demonstrate how abrogation is used.  When you hear people say, “When Bin Laden quotes from the Koran, he is just cherry-picking, he is just picking bits he likes for himself to justify violence.  That is not true Islam.”  Well, that is not how the Koran works.  In truth, the Koran is a very contradictory book.  It can say things in one sura, or verse, which are completely opposed in another sura.  Islamic Jurisprudence understands that this is a serious problem. How can an eternal, uncreated, holy text contradict itself?  The answer that was manufactured to alleviate this potential time-bomb within Islam is abrogation.  Behind abrogation is that idea that divine revelation was given to Mohammed in stages, stages reflecting the context in which Mohammed was building his empire and building his religion.  So when Mohammed begins to teach about this religion but is still politically weak and not recognized by the tribes in Mecca, and wanted also to win over Jews and Christians, the verses of the Koran are more conciliatory. Then he is invited to Yathrib, to what will be Medina. His message finds fertile ground there, his religious nation begins to grow and he returns in force not just to persuade but to conquer.  Then we have the violent Medinan suras, the so-called sword verses:

But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. (KoranSura 9.5)

Fight against those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. (Koran,Sura 9.29)

So Mohammed did not advocate violence at the beginning of Islam’s establishment, because by necessity of his position of weakness, he had no other choice. These are the peaceful verses of the Koran.  When he finally goes to Yathrib, when he is recognized as a prophet and starts to build a mass-base, he becomes a very powerful military leader and returns to Mecca triumphant. That is when the sword verses are “revealed.”  That is when he can talk about violence.  The Koran’s eternal truth is thus a victim to Mohammed’s specific context in time. This is how the principle of abrogation was born to explain inherent contradictions in the text.  If a verse comes later chronologically in the Koran it supersedes the verse that contradicts it. So when bin Laden quotes later suras, famously violent ones, such as 9.29, it is not because he is being selective.  It is because he is reflecting the later truth of Mohammed’s revelation–the later context of power, the use of jihad, the need for violence to spread Islam.  And if you understand abrogation you understand how these quotes are used by jihadists today. The fact is that in the evolution of Islam, the later violent years trump the concepts of the weaker early years–permanently.

In The Defense of Muslim Lands, Azzam defines jihad as a devotional act which is obligatory.  This is the last and most important aspect of Azzam’s work.  Azzam said jihad does not have to be declared by a Caliph.  You do not need to have a head of state give you permission to fight the enemy.  He goes even further and says it is an individual obligation (fard ayn).  Jihad is not something you have to do collectively when a leader gives you permission thanks to the invasion of Afghanistan. It is an individual obligation.

Azzam does something that is very unusual in Islam.  He says you do not even have to ask your father, you do not have to ask your husband, you do not have to ask anybody’s permission. You simply have to wage jihad.  You do not need clerical approval; you do not need a head of state to say, “Now I declare holy war.” You must do it even if you are a slave and your master forbids it.  You must do it if you are poor or if you are rich. Whoever you are, it is a universal and individual obligation.

Ayman al-Zawahiri, Knights Under the Prophet’s Banner

Let us move on to perhaps the most well known individual amongst the ones we are going to cover today, and that is the person who is deemed by many analysts to be the real heart of al Qaeda, to be the center of gravity for this organization.  Not bin Laden. Bin Laden is the charismatic leader, but the man who provides bin Laden his context, his theological underpinnings, with his arguments. That man is Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Who is this man? Again, Egypt is important. He comes from a well known family. Al-Zawahiri is a qualified surgeon, member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad.  He is bin Laden’s number two or perhaps he is Al Qaeda’s number one, ideologically.  No, this is not some poor man who grew up in a Palestinian refugee camp.  This man’s family is important.  On his paternal side his grandfather was the imam of the Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo.  His maternal grandfather was the President of Cairo University and the Egyptian Ambassador to Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. His grandfather’s brother was the first Secretary General of the Arab League. This is not a fringe individual.  This man comes from a very powerful and influential family.

Al-zawahAl-Zawahiri’s formative years were shaped by the Muslim Brotherhood’s fight against the secularist Egyptian system, against leaders like Nasser. In his book Knights Under the Prophet’s Banner, which is less of a fatwa and more a memoir of sorts, he explains how his radicalization occurred, how he was shaped by understanding Arab leaders as pharaohs, as secular puppets of the West and how he was shaped by the treatment that was meted out against him by the Egyptian authorities when he was arrested as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and tortured in prison.  After he was released from prison in 1984, he returned to Pakistan where he was doing charity work as a doctor.  Who was he doing it for?  For the mujahedeen.  He was doing it for the victims of Afghanistan.  Seeing what was happening to his co-religionists in Afghanistan in the 1980s was formative in his radicalization.

AymanFor Ayman al-Zawahiri, democracy is the new enemy and jihad is the tool to realize the Islamic State.  His significance as the head of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad lies in the consequences of his meeting Osama bin Laden and their creating a marriage of convenience between an organization that was salafist and parochially jihadist – in the Egyptian context, fighting the Near Enemy – and an organization, such as al Qaeda, that was Wahhabist and is about the Far Enemy, about Global Jihad.  Here we have a confluence of two methodologies, two contexts, the local theater and the global.  And this is why al Qaeda, the organization that develops later, is so influential in redefining the Near Enemy versus the Far Enemy.

Knights Under the Prophet’s Banner was completed around the time of 9/11 and smuggled out in October of 2001 to London where it was published in a Saudi newspaper, serialized over a period of days.  AQ understands information operations. Zawahiri had a whole book ready, so that when Special Forces and CIA units deployed into Afghanistan, everybody could read in English what Zawahiri had to say. Key concepts of his seminal work begin with the statement that human beings cannot be sovereign.  Sovereignty is Allah’s alone, therefore democracy must be destroyed as it posits man’s sovereignty over man.  Democracy is nothing more than a pagan religion.  It is a form of jahiliyyah.  Secondly, the line between internal and external enemies is an illusion.  The near enemy is a tool of the far enemy.  For example, the King of Jordan is not an internal enemy, he is not a near enemy, but just a puppet of America.  There is no distinction between the two, they must be understood as a whole: the enemy is everywhere.  Thirdly, the battle for Islam must go global.  All Muslims must engage. The message is clear from the very title of Zawahiri’s book: Knights Under the Prophet’s Banner. Muslims must all unite under one flag and not the flag of one nation but the flag of the last true prophet.  Rulers who defy Islam must be exposed, and all Muslims must be held responsible for defending Islam.  It does not matter if you are living comfortably in London, Berlin, or Minnesota–as a Muslim you are responsible too.  Without a Caliphate or Muslim super-state there cannot be victory.  At the end of his book Zawahiri states, “In our means, methods, and resources we must combine patience with infliction of mass casualties and the best method to do this is suicide attacks.” ….. “This confrontation with Islam’s enemies must be to the last drop of blood.”

Brigadier S.K. Malik, The Quranic Concept of Power

Now from the most famous jihadi thinker to the person you probably have not heard of, or at least who most people have not heard of: Brigadier S.K. Malik.  I cannot show you a photo because not even that supercomputer, Google, could find me one. Malik was a member of the Pakistani Army. That is all we know, and the fact that he wrote a very important book.  This book is the The Quranic Concept of Power, published in 1979.

QuranicLet me summarize why this man is important to you.  Imagine walking into Borders or Barnes & Noble and seeing a book written by Gen. David Petraeus, with a foreword by a member of the Supreme Court of the United States, and the preface by none other than President Obama.  Probably an important book, right?  Well, that is The Quranic Concept of Power. It was written by a serving General, with the foreword by the Advocate General of Pakistan, and a preface by none other than General Zia Haq, who was not only the Commander of the Pakistan Army but also Pakistan’s President from 1977 to 1988.  You may not have heard of Malik, but just think about the people who endorsed his book: a person who represents supreme justice in Pakistan and the individual who is the head of state and commander.  So it is an important book.  The preface by the Advocate General is thirteen pages long and is almost as important as the rest of the book.  Let us look at some of the concepts in the preface and the concepts of General Malik.

This is the only modern book authored by a Muslim that deals with war at the strategic level and which combines military theory with divine theological explanation.  This is not von Clausewitz. This is not the art of war in any western sense.  This is the science of warfare as ordained by Allah.  It is non-western and very difficult for us to mentally compare to our strategic paradigms, but that makes it all the more important for us to understand.  Think of it as a hybrid of von Clausewitz’s On War and a book on End Times evangelization all wrapped up together.  The work does not, therefore, fit into our world view or categories.

Additionally its significance lies in its advocacy of terror as a weapon willed by Allah.  Malik is very clear on this: the center of gravity is the soul of our infidel enemy.  It is the enemy’s faith, and the best tool ordained by Allah to destroy our enemy’s soul is terror.  So we have a serving General in the Pakistani Army telling us that 9/11 is the way to wage war.  War today is not to be understood in terms of western strategic concepts such as Land Air battle.  It is not Fire and Maneuver, or nuclear deterrence. It is 9/11.  It is terror.  According to Malik, striking terror in the soul of the enemy is the most effective divinely ordained weapon they have to use against their enemies.  Destroying the faith of the enemy is the object of war, according to Malik, and Jihad is the tool.  To illustrate his point, Malik described numerous battles that Mohammed engaged in, along with other conflicts in the history of Islam.

From General Zia’s foreword once can also garner other key messages of the book: “All Muslims must play a role in jihad, which is a collective responsibility of the whole Muslim ummah, not just soldiers.” Remember, this is from the President of Pakistan.  The Advocate General wrote in his foreword, “The purpose of war in Islam is to serve God’s divine purpose. Jihad is waged to establish Allah’s supremacy.”  Think about how sharply this contrasts with how we teach war at our academies and our war colleges.  War serves the purposes of the state for us. We teach von Clausewitz’s dictum that war is a continuation of politics by other means.  This book says the very reverse: “Jihad is the duty of the believer to carry Allah’s message forward.”  If a person is trying to move the message of Islam forward and he is obstructed in that effort, he is entitled to retaliate.  What does that mean in plain English? How do you explain that in simple words?  It means violence is required if you cannot proselytize.  If someone obstructs the spread of Islam, that is an act of war. If Muslims cannot spread the word of Allah war obtains.  That is most definitely not how we understand war.  For Christians and Jews, spreading our divine message is an indirect non-kinetic issue. We do not proselytize at the end of a gun, not least because we have learned it does not work, aside from the theological and moral indefensibility of it from a Judaic or Christian viewpoint. For the jihadist, spreading Islam and having someone obstruct you in that process is an attack on Islam.  Therefore you are already in a defensive posture and nobody has used a gun on the other side. War is thus triggered simply because the other does not want to be a Muslim.

The divine context of war as explained by the Koran is predicated on the spread of justice.  “Faith in Allah must be altogether and everywhere.  Jihad is a continuous and never ending struggle waged on all fronts including political, economic, social, psychological, domestic, moral, and spiritual.”  Is that how we understand war? The last front, spiritual, is where Malik is most controversial and this is where he starts to talk about terror as the center of gravity.  For Malik, war is an activity aimed at the human heart, at man’s soul, at his spirit, at his faith.  That is not how the West teaches war.  Take out the enemy’s general staff, establish air supremacy, put boots on the ground, those are the kind of things we understand under war.  But for Malik, war is about attacking the human heart, man’s soul, his spirit and faith.  Echoing Sun Tzu, he observes that peace is simply the preparation for war and is vastly more important than the activity of fighting.  What you do in peacetime to prepare is much more important than the kinetic violent actions of shooting people and blowing things up.  What are the consequences of this statement?  This means that Islam is perpetually at war and that peace is simply the preparation for war.

For General Malik, for his patrons and acolytes, jihad is clearly a holy war for both sides of the engagement.  When they say they are fighting a holy war, the conventional wisdom is to just say that that is their distortion. But if our enemy is aiming at our faith system, if they are aiming at our souls, it is de facto a holy war on our side as well because that is what the enemy has chosen to destroy.


What are we to conclude from all of this?  Why are these four writers important?  Here is the take-home:  AQ is just a small part of a much larger and older movement.  That movement has a plan to destroy our system using all means from the list given by Malik, not just violence.  This includes political and economic warfare and very sophisticated and fast information operations.  This conflict that we are in now, in our tenth year, is potentially more deadly and more dangerous than the Cold War, because the enemy is totalitarian, but he is not a secular godless totalitarian like Hitler or Stalin. This totalitarian has Allah on his side.

The sad truth is that we seem to be going backwards. Take just these three quotes from the 9/11 Commission report:

–       Our enemy “is sophisticated, patient, disciplined and lethal.”

–       “[T]he institutions charged with protecting our national security did not understand how grave this threat could be, and did not adjust their policies, plans, and practices to deter or defeat it.”

–       “In short, the United States has to help defeat an ideology, not just a group of people.

I am told that the U.S. Government’s policy now is to see our salvation in negotiations with people like Qaradawi, to engage the Soft Jiahdists.  If that is the Intelligence Community’s strategy and White House’s answer, then we have already lost.  If people who are the seminal clerical advocates for Jihad for the Muslim Brotherhood and the lead clerics for Al-Jazeera are going to be our saviors then we have surrendered.  If you do not want to give up, remember this. This is what we have to understand.

There are violent Jihadists and there are non-kinetic Soft Jihadists.  There is AQ and there is the OIC and the Muslim Brotherhood. They are taking different pathways to the same destination: the imposition of sharia law wherever they can make it happen and to the creation of a Caliphate.

Both groups believe in Jihad. Both groups are driven by the objectives Qutb, Azzam, Zawahiri and Malik espoused. They simply represent two faces of the same foe, an enemy whose doctrines and strategies we must begin studying in earnest.

Dr. Sebastian Gorka is Military Affairs Fellow with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and member of the Strategic Advisers Group of the U.S. Atlantic Council. Since 9/11 he has trained over 800 counter-terrorism officers from more than 50 nations including Iraq and Afghanistan. He is a former member of the British Territorial Army’s Intelligence & Security Group (22 Coy) and lectures frequently on counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency at such institutions as West Point, Fort Leavenworth’s School of Advanced Military Studies, U.S. Special Operations Command and the National Counter Terrorism Center. Dr. Gorka is co-editor of the newly released Toward a Grand Strategy Against Terrorism (McGraw Hill, 2010). Disclaimer: The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of Defense, any U.S. government agency, or the Westminster Institute. The information presented here may be distributed or copied. Use of appropriate byline is requested.

Comedy Film Triggered 21st Century Terrorism

20130618_ester_williams_red_skeltonby LT. COLONEL JAMES G. ZUMWALT, USMC (RET):

Championship swimmer and film star Esther Williams died on June 6th at age 91. Never under the illusion her unique genre of “aqua ballet” films were designed to win her an Oscar, she probably died unaware a song earning an Oscar from one of her movies provided the spark for 21st century terrorism!

Williams starred in the 1949 musical romantic comedy “Neptune’s Daughter.” The song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” written for the film by Frank Loesser, became an immediate hit.

Around the same time, Islamist Egyptian educator Sayyid Qutb came to the U.S. to pursue a master’s degree at a college in Greeley, Colorado. Qutb’s pursuit of a degree in the U.S. was motivated by his conflict with the Cairo government over his strict Islamic beliefs and efforts to implement them in Egypt.

The introverted Qutb was welcomed in Greeley where townspeople invited him to a church social. After dinner, the lights were turned down low and “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” was played. Men and women began slow dancing. The act of couples embracing in such a manner with their bodies closely entwined, skin touching skin, ran contrary to the morals of Islam. This observation so upset Qutb that, upon returning to Egypt in 1950, he wrote extensively about America’s decadence.

Qutb’s essay “The America That I Have Seen” included a description of what he saw at the church social. It reads like a cheap novel rather than an academic’s attempt to analyze a foreign culture. Particularly critical of women, Qutb wrote, “The American girl is well acquainted with her body’s seductive capacity. She knows it lies in the face, and in expressive eyes, and thirsty lips. She knows seductiveness lies in the round breasts, the full buttocks, and in the shapely thighs, sleek legs-and she shows all this and does not hide it.” (Unsurprisingly, Qutb remained a life- long bachelor, claiming no woman worthy of him.)

This essay triggered a litany of works by Qutb in which he addressed the ills of Western society and the need to impose Shariah law to cleanse Muslim society of any Western influence. Soon after his return home, he joined the Muslim Brotherhood, which held very similar anti-Western views.

Eventually, Egyptian President Gamal Nasser tired of Qutb’s continuing efforts to impose an Islamist state upon his government, for it ran afoul of his own secular nationalist ideology. Nasser eventually had Qutb arrested in 1966 and executed.

But the story did not end with Qutb’s death.

It was only years after the fundamentalist’s death that his writings gained interest among Muslims. His teachings impacted two very prominent students-Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. The former, who declared war against the United States in 1998, led al-Qaeda until his death in 2011; the latter has since replaced him. Heavily influencing the two as well was “Milestones”-a book written by Qutb in 1964

Read more: Family Security Matters